Brygg Ullmer @ ZIB

Greetings!   You have reached my homepage at ZIB (the Konrad Zuse Center for Information Technology) in Berlin.

I am now an assistant professor at LSU, jointly in the computer science department and at the new Center for Computation & Technology (CCT). My new group is called Tangible Visualization.

This webpage is currently the most complete record of my work; but I'm migrating new content to my new homepage at LSU.

Feel free to jump forward to my past & present activities; past & current projects; papers, patents, & videos; and to personal details and travel. You can also visit my previous homepage at MIT.

jump to [ activities | projects | papers, patents, videos | personal | travel ]

page last updated october 2004

         

activities:

what's new:

I've begun a tangible interfaces wiki at LSU called tangint. This is very young, but the content is actively growing (in part, as I take on new students, and need ways to communicate and coordinate content with them).

This webpage is currently (10/2004) the most complete record of my work; but I'm migrating new content to my new homepage at LSU.

I will be teaching a course titled Programming Embedded Interfaces at LSU in the spring (open both to graduate and undergraduate students). A description and tentative homepage for the course is now online.

I have accepted a position as assistant professor at LSU, jointly in the computer science department and at the new Center for Computation & Technology (CCT). I will begin work there in October, then full-time in January 2005.

I have co-edited a special issue of the Springer journal "Personal and Ubiquitous Computing" on tangible interfaces. The special issue is in print, and available online in the ACM DL. The table of contents are also online separately.

I have recently joined the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies (IJHCS) as an associate editor.

In July, a museum installation employing one of my tangible interface opened as part of the "Prussian Green" exhibition. Some opening-day photos are online here.

In March, I presented a two-day (six hour) tutorial on tangible interfaces at the Swiss "Spring School" teaching series. The slides are online.

A paper discussing my dissertation research has recently been accepted to the ACM TOCHI special issue on sensing-based interaction.

Some months ago, I placed my dissertation and a number of videos online. I also released a 1996 video, POEMS, and a 1999 paper submission on a project called musicBox.

I updated my CV in February 2004.

present: I'm in the process of beginning a new position as assistant professor at LSU, jointly in the Computer Science Department and the new Center for Computation and Technology.

I have recently finished a postdoctoral position in the visualization department at ZIB. I was part of the GridLab project, and am also actively collaborating with the numerical relativity department of the Albert Einstein Institute. I worked at an intersection between visualization; grid computing; user interface design, including tangible interfaces, multiple-display interfaces, and virtual reality; and astrophysics. More detail about this mix is under my current projects.

past: I completed my Ph.D. in August 2002 at the MIT Media Lab, working with Prof. Hiroshi Ishii in the Tangible Media group. My dissertation was titled "Tangible Interfaces for Manipulating Aggregates of Digital Information." My committee included Profs. Hiroshi Ishii, John Maeda, and Rob Jacob.

I taught a short course on tangible interfaces last November at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in the School of Design. Further back, I've held internships at Sony CSL, Interval Research, and the University of South Carolina.

I also completed studies at the University of Illinois (B.S., computer engineering) and the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM).

You can view my CV (as of February 2004) and a visual summary of my research at MIT

jump to [ activities | projects | papers, patents, videos | personal | travel ]

projects:

My current research is in the ZIB visualization department as a part of the GridLab project, and also in conjunction with the AEI numerical relativity group.

I am working with a team of others on these projects. My responsibility lies most directly with user interface and visualization design and implementation, and to a lesser extent with underlying infrastructure. My most direct collaborator is Andrei Hutanu. We are also working closely in conjunction with:

    Andre Merzky, Werner Benger, Ralph Kaehler, Hans-Christian Hege (ZIB)
    Ed Seidel, Gabrielle Allen, Thomas Radke, Michael Koppitz, Frank Herrman (AEI)

 current projects:
   
Visualization services for the grid:

Within the domain of numerical relativity, the conduct of science is heavily dependent upon generating, coordinating, and interpreting hundreds of 1D, 2D, and 3D views of simulation datasets. Existing tools fall short of scientists' needs on a number of counts, including automation and user interface fronts. Our visualization service provides grid infrastructure for filling this gap, in a fashion which also generalizes to a number of other application domains.


Tangible interfaces for visualization:

We are also developing new kinds of tangible interfaces for configuring and controlling visualization environments. Of special interest is use together with large-format stereoscopic displays, conferencing environments, and other multi-user contexts. An early description of this work appeared in ZIB's 2002 Jahresbericht (in English and German).

(recent thumbnails, old text; new text soon to come)

jump to [ activities | projects | papers, patents, videos | personal | travel ]

 major projects at mit:
   
Tangible query interfaces:

My final thesis project developed tangible interfaces for physically expressing queries to relational databases and other abstract information systems. It is discussed in my dissertation and an INTERACT'03 paper.


Strata:

For several years, I pursued a series of physically representational interfaces for managing physical and digital infrastructure. One product of this work was Strata/ICC, a gallery installation in Tokyo. This is briefly described in a CHI'01 short paper.


mediaBlocks:

The first major project of my Ph.D. was mediaBlocks. mediaBlocks provided a physical medium and means for physically capturing, accessing, and sequencing digital media such as images, audio, and video. It was published as a SIGGRAPH'98 full paper and a CHI'99 extended abstract and video (parts one and two).


metaDESK:

The main system of my master's thesis was the metaDESK, a projectively illuminated workbench for interacting with architectural spaces. It was published in full papers at UIST'97 and CHI'97.

jump to [ activities | projects | papers, patents, videos | personal | travel ]

papers:

A full papers list is online here. Several new and representative papers follow.

new: Ullmer, B., Ishii, H., and Jacob, R. (2004). Token+constraint interfaces for tangible interaction with digital information. Accepted to ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction (TOCHI), special issue on sensing-based interaction.

Ullmer, B., Hutanu, A., Benger, W., and Hege, H-C. (2003). Emerging tangible interfaces for facilitating collaborative immersive visualizations. (extended abstract). NSF Lake Tahoe Workshop on Collaborative Virtual Reality and Visualization (October 2003).

Ullmer, B., Ishii, H., and Jacob, R. (2003). Tangible Query Interfaces: Physically Constrained Tokens for Manipulating Database Queries. In Proceedings of INTERACT'03 (September 2003).

Ullmer, B. (2002). Tangible Interfaces for Manipulating Aggregates of Digital Information. Doctoral dissertation, MIT Media Lab, 2002.

representative: Ullmer, B., and Ishii, H. (2003) Emerging Frameworks for Tangible User Interfaces. In Human-Computer Interaction in the New Millennium (Acrobat; Addison Wesley, Amazon)

Ullmer, B., Ishii, H., and Glas, D. (1998). mediaBlocks: Physical Containers, Transports, and Controls for Online Media.

Ishii, H., and Ullmer, B. (1997). Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits, and Atoms

recently released: Ullmer, B., and Ishii, H. (1999). musicBox: A Tangible Interface for Remote Presence and Browsable History. Submitted to UIST'99. http://web.media.mit.edu/~ullmer/papers/musicbox.pdf.

Glos, J., Ullmer, B., Ishii, H., and Cassell, J. (1997). POEMs: Physical Objects with Embedded Memories. Submitted to CHI'97.

jump to [ activities | projects | papers, patents, videos | personal | travel ]

patents:

US06164541 Methods and systems for providing human/computer interfaces.
(filed October 1997, first issued June 2000; work at Interval Research)

content: invisible (IR & UV) hyperlinking and associated browsing of paper documents and other physical media

US06263507 Browser for use in navigating a body of information, with particular application to browsing information represented by audiovisual data.
(filed December 1996, issued July 2001; work at Interval Research)

content: technologies for automatic cross correlation & browsing of electronic media spanning multiple media types (e.g., news in text, audio, and video formats)

US06259441 Display pause with elastic playback.
(filed December 1996, first issued October 1998; work at Interval Research)

content: technologies underlying "time shift" functions found in many modern DVRs (e.g., TiVo)

(all are as co-inventor)

jump to [ activities | projects | papers, patents, videos | personal | travel ]

videos:

Tangible query interfaces
Ullmer, Ishii, and Jacob

Presented at INTERACT'03

Keyframes

Online video (25MB MPG, with audio narration),
from Germany and the USA.

DataTiles
Rekimoto, Ullmer, and Oba

Video presented at CHI'01

Keyframes

Online video (31MB MPG, no audio, from Japan)

mediaBlocks (1/2)
Ullmer, Ishii, and Glas

Video presented at SIGGRAPH'98 & CHI'99

Keyframes

Online video (1/2, with audio):
   small (10MB, from USA), large (28MB, from USA)

mediaBlocks (2/2)
Ullmer, Ishii, and Glas

Video presented at SIGGRAPH'98 & CHI'99

Keyframes

Online video (2/2, with audio):
   small (12MB, from USA), large (25MB, from USA)

metaDESK
Ullmer and Ishii

Video presented at UIST'97

Keyframes

Online video (with audio):
   small (12MB, from USA), large (39MB, from USA),

POEMS
Glos and Ullmer

Video presented in 1996 class + submitted to CHI'97

Keyframes

Online video (72 MB, from USA, with audio)

I was pleased to see a recent BBC report and BT press release that BT is commercializing related work.

jump to [ activities | projects | papers, patents, videos | personal | travel ]

personal:

I recently attended MIT's 2003 commencement to receive my Ph.D. The speaker was George Mitchell, the former U.S. senator responsible for brokering a peace agreement on Northern Ireland and similar activities in the Middle East.

I enjoyed his address, which can be seen here. Several of his specific challenges are highlighted here.

Some favorite reading snippets.
Just for fun, a few photographs and an old Halloween costume.
Amusing namesake pages (with which I have no connection): brygg.net (Swedish), brygg.com (Norwegian), ullmer.com (German)

jump to [ activities | projects | papers, patents, videos | personal | travel ]

travel:

September 1-5:  INTERACT'03, Zurich
October 12-20:  GridLab conference and workshop, Olomouc, Czech Republic
October 23-25:  San Francisco
October 26-28:  Workshop on Collaborative VR and Visualization, Lake Tahoe
October 29-November 4:  LSU CCT
November 26:  Zurich: talk at IBM Zurich
March 1-2:  Anzère, Switzerland: tutorial on tangible interfaces at the Spring School of the 3rd Cycle in Computer Science
May 6, 2004:  TU/Eindhoven: v.d.Hoven dissertation defense (committee member)
May 16-23, 2004:  Lesce, Italy: GridLab workshop
May 27, 2004:  TU/Eindhoven: colloquium
May 29-June 2, 2004:  LSU CCT

jump to [ activities | projects | papers, patents, videos | personal | travel ]

Thanks for visiting!

Brygg / ullmer@zib.de